Reconciliation or Asymmetricity? On the Religious Other in Literature and Theory

- Khedidja chergui


Different cultural perceptions dictate different ways of perceiving those who are religiously different. This article argues that the religious ‘Other’ and the way it is reflected in literary imagination is usually driven by historically constructed ideologies about race, ethnicity, fear of the other, fear of losing cultural purity, cultural imperialism, and nationalist consciousness, among other factors. Drawing on some theoretical and literary insights on the ‘Other’ and through reading events in their historical and social contexts, this article reads through and exposes various patterns of religious othering in some selected texts and concludes that while some of these factors spring from the historical contexts of the texts and the events shaping them, others are and can be motivated, however implicitly, by the writer’s personal experiences and convictions.

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